“So, what brings you to London?”

I hate when people ask me that question. Being the awkward turtle that I am, I have developed a number of canned responses:

  • The professional response: “I wanted to work in digital and there’s no better place to do that than London — at least where I could get a visa and speak the language!”
  • The grown-up response: “I wanted to continue to live abroad and travel, and it’s easy for Canadians to get a visa for the UK. And it’s London!”
  • The blunt but funny response: I thrust my thumb at my partner and say “That guy.”

Of course every answer is true, but one is truer than the others. I admit it: I’m one of those girls who moved abroad with a guy. I mean, it wasn’t just him. After Martinique I wanted to continue travelling, but London was never a place I would have considered living (I was more into Paris). So, I moved to London because of him, but not for him. I moved there for adventure and to see new places, but I could have done that anywhere.

And I gotta say, thank goodness “That guy” is from London because I don’t know what excuse I would have had for moving to, I don’t know, Chichester? shudder

Enough about me. This is about you. Here is what you should do if you’re thinking about moving abroad for love:


Get out of my face, moving abroad for love
Just say no…

I don’t mean that you shouldn’t move to a new country with him, I mean don’t do it for him. Do it for yourself, because you want to see the world, learn a new language, or challenge yourself. If you don’t find your own reason for moving you will resent him when you’re having a hard time (and you will have a hard time). If he has a job there and you don’t then you’ll need to find a way to keep busy and make friends.

Set yourself a goal to achieve or find a new hobby that will help get you out of the house — start a blog, research some aspect of the culture, get a degree online — just do anything that makes you feel like you’re accomplishing something besides being a ‘trailing spouse’.

If you can’t think of a reason why you want to go for yourself then you probably shouldn’t go.

Again, maybe don’t do it.

Ally Pally viewfinder, moving abroad for love
“I seeeee you!”

I think long-distance relationships can work when you both have a time-frame for your return. Bae and I did the long distance thing twice for about five months each time. Each time it was pretty open-ended and that was the most stressful part of it: trying to figure out when and how we would be in the same place again. If your partner is going on a 6-month job posting you’ll find it a lot easier to be apart than if she’s getting transferred and she could be gone for 3 months or 3 years, and you have no idea which.

  • A lot of people seem to be misunderstanding what I’m saying. I don’t mean you shouldn’t move abroad for love, I’m saying think twice before you do it: First, can we make this work long distance? Second, is there a reason besides my partner that I would move there and would it be without detriment to my dreams, goals, and needs? Because there is no comeback worse than “I moved countries for you!” or “I gave up a full scholarship at Yale for you!”. Your partner may never sacrifice in the same way and will be unhappy if you use that as a trump card every time things are going wrong. It’s why I say, find a reason that ain’t your partner 🙂

Consider whether you really have to live together.

moving abroad for love, Mulled Wine, Christmas market Southbank centre, London
We see each other on weekends…it’s like dating all over again!

If you’ve been living together already, then by all means, go for it. But depending on where you’re moving you may not have the same luxuries you’re accustomed to. You may have to share with strangers or your apartment could be cramped — and if there is one thing I learned from living abroad with my partner, it’s that small living spaces make for really big fights.

My partner and I don’t live together in London now and if he ever decides to join Generation Rent then it will be nice to have separate flatmates and places we can escape to when they piss us off. Besides, house shares are a great way to make new friends!

Learn to speak the language if you can’t already.

moving abroad for love, Amaluna, Montreal, Cirque du Soleil
“I have no idea what you’re saying to me”

There is nothing more isolating (well, besides being put in isolation) than being unable to understand the people around you. It will help you get a job (or a better one) and talk to people while you’re abroad. If you need to take lessons then you may even make some friends that are in the same boat as you.

Be honest with him–and yourself.

Punting in Cambridge, moving abroad for love
“Of course I think Arsenal is the best football team EVER — Not!”
Punting in Cambridge

Hopefully you have honed good communication skills throughout your relationship. Being an expat couple is a blessing and struggle but you go through it together; on the other hand, moving abroad for love and being the only one who is adapting to a new country can be especially lonely. If your partner is a local let him know that you’re having a hard time and talk about what he can do to help you (and how you can help yourself).

Discuss your expectations of living abroad.

"I will only eat British food, forever and ever -- starting with scotch eggs!"
“I will only eat British food, forever and ever — starting with scotch eggs!”

Perhaps you totally want to become an honourary Moroccan–you plan on learning the language and how to cook couscous–but your partner doesn’t. If you’re both moving to a new country he might want to experience the culture in a different way than you or won’t be as willing to make himself uncomfortable in a foreign country. Everyone has a different expat style and adapts to new places in their own way.

If you want a partner in crime, let her know. If she just wants to continue living like she did at home but with better Instagram opportunities, you have to decide if you’re cool with being the one who orders the food, talks to the landlord, and does all of the engaging with your adopted home.

Don’t lose your identity.

Golders Hill, London, moving abroad for love
“I really don’t say ‘a-boot’!”

Keep your cultural heritage alive by sharing the food, music, and history with people. Your partner, and people who care about you in your new country, should be interested in where you come from because it’s a huge part of who you are. I’ve made him and his family pancakes and we’ve had lively discussions about the differences between the US, Canada, and England. And when I start to feel homesick? I eat ice cream drowning in maple syrup while watching TV shows and movies that remind me of home…

Have you ever moved abroad for love or considered doing it? What about moving to a new country with your significant other? If you have advice, leave them in the comments!

183 thoughts on “Thinking About Moving Abroad for Love? Read This First.”

  1. Hi ,
    I’m kinda in this same spot .I moved to Canada without thinking it through because I was frustrated with my work situation but I have never felt settled here . My long distance boyfriend recently told me that he wants to move back to the uk and I’m happy for him. I’ve told him that him that I don’t mind relocating with him cause I don’t feel settled here..I have visited once before and I liked it . He’s telling me we’ll figure it out but I have to make that decision for myself by myself because that not a choice that he wants to be involved with cause it s my decision. He said that we need to be in the same place eventually .Honestly it’d be easier for me to move since I’m more flexible since there isn’t much keeping me in Toronto but my job . He said he sees me being with him in the uk .He’s said that he doesn’t know if he do the same for me in terms of moving across to Canada but that’s fine cause I don’t see my self staying here and I don’t want him do since he not very flexible with work .I’ve been stuck alone in Canada this whole pandemic where none was able to visit me nor was I able to leave the country because of covid and immigration problems .this pandemics has been really had and depressing because I wasn’t about to be with him at all. He’s concerned that’ I’ll miss my family if I move to the uk since I missed them in the pandemic but what affected me most that I couldn’t be with him .

  2. The whole move ‘with him, not for him’ bit tugs at my heart. It’s a good way to put how to look at the opportunity. It’s super important to find ways of creating your own identity and enjoy your surroundings when in a new space.

    I’m currently in a long distance relationship and having been single since high school (10 years) he’s surely a breath of fresh air. A relationship near or far is going to be exactly what we each make of it. I’m very guilty of scouring the internet for guidance on some things. I’m able to have these conversations with him. Although, it’s important that I can come to a resolution or expand my thinking on my own as well. I’m located in the States, he in Italy. I had a two to three year plan to move to Europe first choice was France, second England (only because of the lack of language barrier), third was Italy. After establishing our relationship Italy quickly became the first choice. Looking into schools, transfer with job, or new job opportunities. All these things that I needed to accomplish for myself. Being with him was the icing on the cake. I had no intention of living together not even in the same city unless the right school presented itself in the same city. Italy also became a one year plan instead of two or three.

    He finally admitted to me that he wants to live in the States. Which theoretically there’s nothing wrong with that. Although, my current desire outside of being with him is to allow myself to grow outside of where I am. I’ve exposed myself to all that I felt I should’ve here in the States. I moved from the East Coast (home) to the West Coast immediately after high school so my experiences here have not been limited in any real way.

    I also don’t want to raise a family here, he’s aware of this.

    So now I have this dilemma in it’s own right on how to figure out where we go from here. What compromises can we make to ensure we’re both happy. I know that if I stay in the States I will be unhappy, I will resent the relationship. Something I’ve never experienced. As this is the first time I ever had to take someone else’s desires into consideration.

    I also don’t want to move to Italy and only a year or two later he wants to move to the States. I’d like more time outside of the States. I also want to enjoy him as well. Neither of us want to be in a long distance relationship long term.

    In my mind I want to have at least two three years together before kids come in the picture. The idea is to enjoy life as it comes. I just get so anxious when things aren’t really in line with the “big picture”. He tells me to calm down often (lol). I don’t feel that I have a right I ask him to stay with me in Italy for a while longer then we can move to the states. When he’s made it clear that he wants to leave in two years time.

  3. I’m in the situation where I kinda need my man to move with me. For my own good and his. I’ve met him in Canada. I am from Germany. I’ve lived here with him for 2 years and saw him struggle and barely survive from paycheque to paycheque. We were yanks to travel or go out as we wanted to. It sucked. I went back to Germany for schooling. And I know he’d have it easier there. He could make his dream of his own company, kids family and house true. Other than in Vancouver where you pay 10 times as much for a house as you do in Germany. I know he would love it there and he could be happy. But I couldn’t be happy in Canada. I even consider moving back because he’s the live of my life and I don’t want to loose him. He’s never been to Germany but strictly says it’s not an option for him. I don’t know what to do…

  4. This is so good to hear other people’s stories who are grappling with the same issues! I live in the U.S., and met a guy 6 months ago while visiting Ecuador (we met at a party through a mutual friend). Since then we have been texting every day and skyping regularly, I went to visit him once and we met halfway in Mexico and spent a week together. I REALLY like him and want to live closer to him – however because the U.S. is so stingy with visas for people from Latin America, he’s not really able to come here (unless I marry him – yikes – not ready for that). So my only option to spend more time with him and get to know him better is to either move to Ecuador or for both of us to move to another country together.

    Part of me is excited about the prospect of living abroad (I speak fluent Spanish, so language isn’t an issue, and I love learning about new cultures), but it would also mean leaving my current job which I love and being away from my family for a long period of time. Also, what if, once the honeymoon wears off, he and I find out we’re not that compatible?!

    It feels like a catch-22, because I have to spend more time with him to find out if I like him enough to move somewhere to be with him, and the only way to find out if I like him enough is to move somewhere to be with him!!

  5. I’m a bit further along than most of you. I’ve had two relationships (one marriage) where I moved abroad for my partner. I’ve always travelled a lot, so I didn’t think it would be a big deal.

    The first time, I was in my late teens and met a guy from the US on holiday in Italy. We both fell in love and kept in touch over the next year, flying over to see one another every month or so. I’m from the UK, but agreed to move to the US to be with him. I was there for two years, but despite the language being close enough and the culture not too different, I never felt at home. I also struggled to find work, and when I did get a job I hated it. It caused a lot of tension and I eventually moved back to the UK.

    The second time I was in my early 30s and, again, met someone on holiday. He was from Canada this time. We intially clicked really well (we thought) and I was in a rush to marry before I turned 40 (bad idea). So after a year of long distance dating, we agreed to tie the knot and he moved to the UK to begin with. He really struggled with the different culture and being so far from home (which I understood, as I’d felt the same way). He didn’t find work for the first 10 months and it put a strain on the relationship as I was paying for everything, including the mortgage we’d got together. We were both very bad tempered. We travelled back to Canada every few months to stay with his family, who weren’t too happy about ‘losing him’ either. So there were a lot of issues. He then convinced me to move over to Canada with him, and I agreed to try for a few months and got a transfer from work (who were really good about it considering the disruption to everyone else). I was there on and off for two years, but we just grew further and further apart and I resented giving up my home for so much of the year. I also had young family that I was missing, and my friends barely saw me, as I was using up all my leave travelling and then had barely any money when I was back in the UK. Ultimately, I realised he would never feel at home in my country and I would never feel at home in his, and all the things we found a novelty to begin with just became additional stress between us. And I think things just began to fizzle out as neither of us were happy. We got divorced and I moved back to the UK and found someone in my hometown, which I never thought would happen.

    LDR/foreign marriages can work in some cases, but I’ve heard far more negative stories than good ones. The good ones tend to be very early in the relationship, only a few years in, where things are still new and exciting. Most of my friends/colleagues who married foreign partners are now divorced or about to be. Marriages are difficult at the best of times, but adding extra stress on top of the regular stuff just makes it even more difficult. It can still work. But just be realistic and make sure you have a back up plan in case it doesn’t. Don’t cut all ties in case you need to come back. Listen to a (fairly) old woman!

  6. Hi alyssa! I’m planning to move with my partner which anyone in my family ever knew and obviously never met.. I’m 3 semesters away from graduating university, I’m 20 and he is 35 with a stable job and a place, I would leave everything behind, he is from Turkey and I’m south american, Ecuador.. I don’t know what to do .. help me out!

  7. Thank you for sharing your stories. They made me feel less lonely. I moved to the U.S. to be with my partner; it was extremely hard on me and in the end I decided to go back home. The U.S. is such a difficult country to live in, I had a really bad time adjusting and struggled with depression. We’re still together with my bf and trying to plan our future. It’s just such a complicated situation and so emotionally tasking – to love someone but also not being able to find a nourishing and safe space for both of you to be together.

  8. Here’s my story:
    I’m a bo or better a man, 32 yrs with a master degree in chemistry from my hometown, Iran. I was having a relationship from March 2015 to maybe 5 months ago. She was my classmate in masters degree period but with a different major. we were classmates at least 7 years ago. After graduation, it is mandatory in Iran for boys to take the military experience and it is mandatory. You cannot escape it, you are obliged to have it for two years as I did. When I was having my military mandatory experience she was studying for her doctoral degree in chemistry in an Iranian university and we started our relationship just 7 months before I finished the military experience. Everything was perfect in those 7 months and we decided w/ each other move on for the immigration. She was studying and I was searching trying to take my TOEFL and GRE certificates to get the admission of universities abroad (because receiving admission of universities is the easiest way for Iranian young people for the case of long-term immigration). I found many opportunities like winning a lottery to go to the USA plus taking admission of two or three universities, but unfortunately or fortunately, the U.S embassy didn’t issue a visa for me. it took almost 3 years for me to try to take the visa, applying for universities, losing my jobs, spending money, spending time, losing my youth-ness, taking care of my relationship and losing my mother because of cancer. Meanwhile, she was studying for her doctoral degree and she got an admission from an American university to be there for six months as a visiting student. I was very sad she was leaving me and I couldn’t tolerate it but after talking with one of her friends (her friend told me it is/was my girlfriend’s dream to go abroad, don’t make her stay in Iran and give her a reason) I decided to let her go and gave her a reason to do it better ( I told her to move to the USA but talk to your professor to give me the admission for his university so we would be there w/ each other at last). She went, took the admission, returned to Iran after six months and my visa didn’t get issued again. Next year of that She defended her doctoral thesis and it was the third year of our relationship. I was establishing myself in a job that I liked but after talking to her I decided to work on a student visa for Canada, so I applied for it and successfully took the admission of a university in a small city of Canada. But the issuance of the Canadian visa took a year for me and when it was issued we were in the fourth year of our relationship. It was supposed to get married after I got my visa and we started to talk to our families for it and due to Iranian traditions there must be some ceremonies before the wedding ceremony which her family was insisting on to have it. I first was thinking maybe she doesn’t want those ceremonies because she could see I didn’t have enough money to move abroad (Iran’s currency is really bad right now due to American sanctions)+we only had 40 days to pack up everything+ I was 31 and it was difficult for me to leave my family and job-opportunities in Iran+ I didn’t really want to immigrate, but I found she is really into those ceremonies. Therefore I told her and her family and friends to stay for me for six months, let me go to Canada and I would do whatever I can to make money and I would come back then we can have a ceremony and be with each other. I did it, I worked as a campus patrol in university and saved money like 20k $ for our future life and I returned to my country after six months where she wasn’t waiting for me anymore. I was trying to have the relationship when I was in Canada in many ways like using WhatsApp calls or whatever I could but she was only rejecting me. When I returned I found she wasn’t really waiting for me and she had a kind of grudge about me it was like hell for me that I couldn’t imagine. I thought to myself she would do what I did for her (waiting for six months), but I was totally wrong. Besides these, my six-month life experience in Canada showed me I’m not a person to leave there alone, I didn’t like my Ph.D. major, I didn’t like the cold weather, I liked to have no job experience for at least four years only to take a Ph.D. … and it is six months now that I’m in my country. I don’t have her anymore but I know she is still trying to immigrate, but my professor in Canada is asking me to be there. I have found a job that I like, it is difficult but at least I like it. I don’t want to go to Canada again but everyone is telling me to leave Iran because the situation is bad and there is a war-danger between Iran and USA. I hate this experience and I don’t know what to do. Staying in Iran or leaving for Canada.

    1. I’m very sorry to hear all of this! It sounds to me that you know what you need to do. Ultimately, take care of yourself first because no one wants to be with someone who is unhappy. If that doesn’t work for your partner, she may not be the right person for you. Best of luck!

  9. Hi Alyssa,

    Thank you for your post, it was interesting to hear your thoughts on this and to read so many people’s own experiences in similar situations. I’m in a very difficult one myself and struggling to decide what I should do.

    My partner and I have been together 2 years now, the entire time long distance. Me in Singapore and him in Australia. We have known each other since school days, and are both from the UK. The agreed plan was to go home to the UK together, in the long run. Initially, I agreed to join him in Australia for a couple of years just mainly so that we could enjoy living together and for him to have bit more time to save, and maybe have a baby too..and then we return together back to the UK to raise children close to family. The agreed plan which he said he was totally happy to do, was to go home to UK.

    Unfortunately, the migration visa I applied for was unsuccessful because during the ‘waiting time’ my job was no longer in demand in that area. Anyway…so of course, the next step was to instead go home (UK) earlier than planned as we both agreed we cannot do another year long-distance and I will have no Visa to work or live there. The partner visa is an option, but its a 2 year process time potentially…leaving me just hanging around there for 2 years not legally allowed to work at all. We both desperately now want to start a family, buy a house etc. He is now a citizen of Aus as he has been there 11 years in total. I’ve being working abroad as an exact for 6 years.

    It was always my intention to go home and if I was not with him, I would already be home now. He has recently (in last few days) completely changed his mind entirely and has refused to come back to England like we have been planning for months and months now. I had told my family, he had told his, and I was so excited. I’m very close with my family. I’ve suggested various compromises, such as we go home just for short term so we can start our family and do all that stuff with family around, and return to Aus down the line when there will be no Visa complications. He is refusing. He now has given an ultiumatum – I either move there and we do the kids thing, or we separate. He says we can move back to UK in a few years, but I feel unsure I can believe him as he has been back and forth various times on this whole thing.

    I love him very much and I do not want my life without him and have been thinking of our future family and getting excited everyday! I don’t know if I can go there and be okay with potentially having a baby and doing that stuff away from family which he knew was very important to me since day one. I do not have any kind of working visa for Aus so if I went there, I would be fully dependant on him, have no one I know and be pregnant maybe. Sounds a dodgy plan to me! but I can’t bare Ideas of not being together and I want to be able to trust him on this.

    Any advise or thoughts would be amazing because I’ve got NO IDEA what to do! Going home alone will make me sad and living so far from family with no guarantee he will move back like he is saying he will…is risky! Especially if there’s a kid involved at that point!


  10. Ah – just came across your blog and I love it! I’m always looking for others who have moved abroad for love. I’ve been living in Belgium (also a Canadian) for 5 years now! I love that you’ve insisted that moving isn’t FOR him but for yourself! something I touched on a lot too. And keeping your independence is SO important. Thanks for sharing!

  11. Hi Alyssa!

    I’m really glad I saw this post after weeks of googling “moving abroad for love”. Me and my girlfriend are in a similar situation right now. We met in summer 2017 working together at a restaurant in my home state. We quickly fell in love and started spending so much time and every day together. After summer ended, we took a huge trip all across america and even to Hawaii. After our trip, she flew back home to Poland and I stayed in America. I told her I would come to visit her for 3 months (Since my job was seasonal and I only work in the summer) and I went to Poland to meet her family and experience her culture. I loved her family and her culture but I felt very bored when I was there since I was not working. I came back to America after my 3 months was up and began working at the same restaurant again. She got another visa and came to work with me but in order to do this she gave up her dream job in Poland. We just spent another whole summer together and just took another epic vacation (this time to puerto rico) but now we have to make some very serious decisions. She just went back to Poland a few days ago and got her dream job back. I’m currently still in america with nothing in particular tying me down except for my family who I am very close to. I can tell nobody in my family really wants me to leave to Poland for good and I’ve always lived so close with my family that they are my main support network. I told my girfriend I would move to Poland for one year to see how things go but she says she doesnt want to move to america again because of the culture here and her job in Poland. I’m really torn. I’ve been so depressed ever since dropping her off at the airport a few days ago. I can’t picture my life only seeing my family once or twice a year but then also the more I think of it the more I think that would happen anyway if I married anyone. I mean thats what happens right? you get married and start your own family. and then yeah sure you see your birth family every few weeks or once every few months, but isnt that just part of growing up? I cant picture my life with anybody else. I’m so in love with this girl but I’m really having a hard time making such a serious decision right now. I’ve never worked a job other than the restaurant manager seasonal and I’m taking classes now to teach English abroad. I just dont know if this next year teaching English will be just prolonging the inevitable since both of us dont seem to want to leave our familys in the long term. Should I just try it and see? Am I just afraid of growing up? Whats wrong with me? Any advice helps!!

    Thank you!

  12. Hi Alyssa,
    I’m so glad to have found this post.
    I have this problem. I’m 19 years old and just started studying at a university. Around a year ago I met a guy online, he’s from Czech Republic (I’m from Poland). After some time we met and I fell head over heels with him. We see each other in person roughly once every month and needless to say, it’s been tough. Before we started dating, I had this idea in my head to move abroad and study since I am not at all satisfied with what I’m getting here, in Poland. That’s why when I was getting to know this guy I was asking hundreds of questions about education in Czech Republic and also read a lot about it. I already know the language and have seen the university I’m aiming at. I loved it there in that country.
    The only problem that’s left are obviously my parents. They do not see it as a chance for better education and an adventure, all they see is my will to live with my boyfriend. They aren’t too open-minded and aren’t happy with both the relationship and the plan to move abroad. I understand their fears, as I’ve always been talking about moving abroad once I get a chance. Despite that, I don’t know how to at least leave home in peace and without pointless fights. I know I’m young but I feel a need to start living my life on my terms now, if I don’t do it, I think I never will. I’m the kind of person who can easily be influenced and this is my first independent decision. If I give up now, I know I’ll regret it and keep on living the way my parents are forcing me to.

  13. Hi Alyssa,
    I’m really glad I found this post and thank you for sharing your experiences.
    I was in a two year long distance relationship (Spain/Australia) and that was one of the toughest experiences I’ve ever had. I have always said that I would never do LDR but because he was so persuasive and because he said he would move to Australia I agreed. Last year in July my boyfriend moved to Australia to be with me and it has been the best year and I thought the whole two years LDR was worth it. But recently my boyfriend has decided he doesn’t want to settle in Australia anymore because ultimately that would mean he would be really far away from his family. He wants us to move to the UK together, that way we can both work there (seeing as I can only speak English) and he can also be closer to his family in Spain. He also said that he wants to live in Spain for a couple of years aswell after we’ve worked in the UK for a few years.
    I feel so confused as to what to do. I remember when we first started dating I didn’t want to continue dating him because I said I would never be able to leave my family because I am so close with them. I also remembered saying that I would never be the person to put my boyfriend’s needs above my own needs. But now I feel like I’m extremely committed to him (we’ve been together for 4 years) and if he decides to leave for the UK/Spain I will probably follow him. I can’t come to terms with the fact that I will have to leave my family and my friends that I am so close with and that are my support network. I’m afraid of moving to a different country and starting a brand new life because I’m not the best at making friends and I know I will struggle a lot making a life for myself in a different country. I’m worried that as a result I will be unhappy, become attached/clingy to the point where I push him away. I’m not the most emotionally resilient person so I know that I will definitely struggle. But I also know that I’m super committed to him and I want to do everything in my power to make this work for us because I really do believe he’s the one I want to be with forever.

    Anyway, I’m just a ball of confusion and stress as I fear the unknown and the uncertainty of our future. I don’t think I really have a question- other than, what should I do? Although that’s a very complicated and loaded question. I guess I was hoping you (or anyone) could read it and share with me some of your experiences and maybe provide me with some clarification or perspective.

    1. Hi Jen,

      No one can really tell you what you should do. The best I can do is reflect back to you what you’ve said here already. A lot of people say that they ‘would never’ be a certain person in a relationship. But for everyone I know who is in a healthy, long-term relationship, they’ve often made some sort of compromise with who they thought they would be in a relationship in favour of who the relationship has allowed them to become. It took that person to be willing to work on or change that part of themselves, and it was ultimately for the better. He has shown that he’s willing to go a long way for you – but have you discussed these concerns with him? Does he understand that you will be as far away from your family as he is now?

      It seems to be that some time abroad would be an opportunity for you to become more emotionally resilient, to develop skills in making new friends, and so on. If you decide to go, think of it less like a sacrifice, and more as an opportunity for growth. And remember that you can always go home again.

      The only thing I would say is act fast, because the door to moving to the UK is closing quickly – especially for him (if he’s not already a citizen or resident), and you (if you’re over 30).

      I hope that helps! Best of luck 🙂

  14. Great reply Alyssa. I was wondering how you would reply to this and the reply was exactly what I was thinking. Hope all is well, Alyssa and goes well for you Cindy

  15. Hi Alyssa,
    Thanks for your post. I’m am trying to find answers to the situation with my boyfriend of 4 years. We dated in our hometown, Toronto Canada for 3 years before he moved last summer to Thailand to live a raw food lifestyle. I always knew that he had a dream to live in a tropical place, I just never thought he’d really go do it. Before he left, he wanted me to move there with him and he still wants that. We have been managing a long distance relationship for nearly a year with video chat and emails, the odd card in the mail. Recently there has been a feeling of sadness, confusion as he was having trouble renewing his visa and was wanting to not be alone going through all the hassle and loneliness by himself in Thailand. I just don’t feel a strong sense of purpose for me to go, other than to keep the relationship. I told him he is just doing a lifestyle experiment which he is not even all that committed to, so it makes no sense for me to give up my family, friends, spiritual community, and job that I have worked mega mega hard to get and am just finally getting financially stable after 5 years of struggle. There is no end date in sight for us and we have not seen each other because it’s a very long trip and a huge expense to see each other. he has talked about moving to Equador or Costa Rica instead, so that we can at least visit each other more easily. He suggests that I got on-line jobs as a health consultant, as well as teaching English so that I can travel with him while he figures out where he wants to be. He says it may take him years to figure it out! I have done a lot of travel and I don’t really like the thought of pulling up roots after I have already lived in several different cities and know very well the feeling of missing friends and family, and community. I have suggested we live the snow bird lifestyle, being in the tropics during the winter and in Canada in the summer but he doesn’t seem to be keen on that. I am losing sleep over this now. And it also scares me that we would start our journey of living together while being in a foreign place, and that just feels stressful because who will I turn to when it gets too stressful? For him, this is his first time abroad and he’s never had much adventure in his life so he’s just loving it and doesnt think much about his family at all. I have lived 13 years away from my family, on the other side of Canada, and done a lot of travel so I just don’t have the same interest in travel or adventure that he does. I have been completely supportive of his move to Thailand, with the idea that he would probably return back home after 5-8 months of this experiment, but he seems to not be coming back any time soon. Anyhow, I’m trying to just feel my feelings and not force anything that doesn’t feel right. I just pray everything comes together, or that I get an answer about how to deal with this soon. Thanks for listening:)

    1. Hi Cindy!

      Yaaaasss! I think you have the right idea: Not forcing something that doesn’t feel right. It seems to me that you and your boyfriend (let’s call him Joe) want two very different things out of life right now. That could change in the future, but how long are you willing to wait? It sounds like Joe needs to work on Joe – and the truth is, most people can’t do that within a relationship. Thank him for being honest about how long it will take to figure things out and get moving. He already has the physical space to do the work – give him the mental and emotional space too. Maybe he’ll realize that he wants you, maybe he’ll realize he wants the lifestyle he has, maybe he’ll realize something completely different. My suggestion? Keep lifting yourself up and don’t let someone who doesn’t know where they’re headed slow you down.

      All the best!

  16. Hi Allysa,

    thank you for your article. There was a time when I was thinking about if I could/should move to a foreign country to be with a guy I liked. Our whole story was really complicated and we never actually talked about what we were and where would we like to go with our “relationship”. We visited each other like 2-3 times a year, had fun and then communicated via social media. I know him from my 5 months on Erasmus when I actually liked someone else (I know it is getting even more complicated).

    I have to say that I had many issues that I was just not even trying to solve and this whole situation was making me anxious. Still, I was not ready to let this possibility go. Thanks to the therapy, working on myself and opening up I was able to ask for the big talk. Neither of us wants to leave their mother country so we decided to switch to friends with benefits as long as it suits both of us and get back to being just friends in case either of us will find a significant other or won’t be comfortable with this solution.

    I can say that your article helped me to check with the reasons why would I be moving there. And the only reason why was the other person and I realized that it is not enough. I hope it made at least some sense 🙂 But anyway thank you for your article.

  17. Hello Alyssa
    thanks for sharing your story I been going crazy looking for someone who could understand me and had a similar experience and could give me an advice
    Me and my boyfriend are both USA citizens, we been dating for couple of months already, when we starting dating he told me about his dream to became a foreign teacher and he asked me if I would move with him, which I said “I don’t know there is many things to think about” and he said that, he is thinking about doing that in a couple of years, so we have time to decide…
    but things change and he said that in about 6 months he will follow his dream.
    I want to follow him. but I don’t know how can me make it, I mean he will have a work waiting for him and he will get a work visa, but how about me? how would I be able to travel and obtain work? do I have to marry him to obtain a spouse visa?

    1. Hi Jesse,

      You don’t really mention, but is there anything keeping you in the US? If not, then go! Everyone should take the time to live abroad if they have the opportunity to. I don’t know what country he’s going to, but there are a lot of ways to work abroad, from teaching English (where you can be sponsored for a visa) or simply applying for jobs in your field the same way you would at home. The only thing that gives me pause is that he was applying for jobs without telling you… or encouraging you to do the same. But if he’s wants to join the experience, I don’t have enough information to suggest you don’t!

      Good luck!

  18. Hey Alyssa,

    Thank you for sharing your story. I would like your advice or perhaps an opinion from a third person. I am used to living in big cities (e.g., NYC) where things are going on all the time and comfort, entertainment and accessibility are plenty. In 2016, I wanted to move to Europe to do a master’s degree (I’m half Italian). In the midst of this process, I met my loving boyfriend (he’s German) who helped me get into a research program in Germany while I figured out where I would do my master’s. It was in city different than his but he travelled to me every weekend.

    I hated Germany – being from the Caribbean I found Germans extremely cold and the country too boring. Many places seem so village-y and plain, and it’s just not what I am used to. So I moved to Amsterdam to do a one years Master’s, and since 2 months its over and I’m back in Germany to be with him.. I would like to do a PhD perhaps in Germany… but I need the language. I currently have no friends, he’s my only social contact, or a job and I do not feel motivation to go out anywhere, study or do anything because I feel like my surroundings are not encouraging.

    Ultimately he does not want to live in Germany, but he is a med student.. always busy and still 3 more years to go. I guess he tries to help, but currently his time is limited and at this point I don’t even feel alive anymore to think of ideas that can help me move forward. I was wondering if you have any suggestions for me?

    Thank you so much for reading!

    1. Hi Lyss, I definitely understand your predicament! It sounds like he’s supportive and has made a big effort for you to be in the same place and for you to feel comfortable. That definitely counts for a lot. Ultimately, though, you have to decide if you want to be in Germany for the foreseeable future – and that means going out and doing things you enjoy (I always joined dance classes!) and putting yourself out there to make friends. I’ve spent quite a bit of time in Germany, from Berlin to Hamburg and Mainz – people can be very open minded and there are a lot of international expats, especially in student towns. If he’s committed to moving to a bigger city after he finishes his studies, you have to see if you can find work or study in the meantime. As far as motivation – take up a new hobby, travel, find something to motivate you… it’s very important!

      Best of luck,


  19. Hi Alyssa!

    Thank you so much for writing this article. I’m currently in the US and set to relocate to the UK in Aug to get married. I’m in my mid 30’s and have been with my fiancé since 2015. We both have kids but I’m a solo parent so we decided that it would be the best option for me and my daughter to make the move. Everything was fine until the beginning of the year when I had to begin planning for the visa’s. I’m now less than a month away from when I HAVE to apply for the visas and we talked just last night about him coming at the end of April to get the legal bit of the marriage done so I’d only have to apply for a spousal visa. I couldn’t sleep last night and I’ve been anxious and teary all day at the prospect of moving. It’s becoming so much more real. Am I being selfish, ripping my 12-year old away from all of her friends? Or am providing her a super cool opportunity that few can claim they’ve had. I’m handling the brunt of the financial burden for this entire situation as well. Is that fair? Should I be telling him that he really needs to pay for half? Is the fact that I’m completely second guessing everything a sour omen? No one can make this decision but me, but right now I just feel like I’m drowning in panic attacks… 🙁

    1. Hi Amy,

      I’m glad it was helpful! I’m not a parent so I don’t know how much weight my words really carry. I moved (cities) when I was about that age, and I really didn’t want to go. I was angry about it for a long time – or what seemed like a long time when I was 13. I started school, made new friends, and in the end, I’m glad we moved. My mom was doing what was best for our family and my life would have gone down a very different, not-so-positive path if we had stayed – of that I am certain. I think just hear out her concerns and come up with ways you can solve them together. She’s old enough to have an opinion and to want some semblance of control over her life, so give it to her by asking about her concerns and potential solutions.

      It’s a big life change, and I would be worried if you weren’t questioning it! It’s not a bad omen, it’s a sign that you’re actually thinking about the consequences. There’s nothing wrong with that.

      As far as the finances… I was thinking about dithering on this one, ‘Oh, you know, everyone is different, blah blah blah.’ But I was looking at it from the lens of my (unmarried) relationship. My partner doesn’t pay the cost of my flights when I come to visit and I wouldn’t expect him to. But you’re uprooting your life and moving continents to be with him. So sure, everyone’s relationship is different… but I’m going to say Heck yes, you should at least be splitting the costs – for the visas at least! Maybe you can let the moving costs slide if he’ll be footing the bill for your living expenses in the UK until you find a job or something, but you’re going to married! As in what’s mine us yours and yours is mine married. You shouldn’t have to ask because if you have expenses, he has expenses too!

      Just my 2 cents. Do what you feel is right!

  20. My own story had a sad ending, but i still found your post very helpful.

    6 months ago I moved across the world from Australia to the UK with my boyfriend of 18 months so he could study for four years. We hadn’t lived together, I’m older than him so a bit more settled in my life, and i was very apprehensive of leaving my family – my newborn niece especially, my friends, and my work which was, as a freelancer, just starting to bloom. But, we were very much in love and both professed each other to be ‘the one’.

    We were naive, looking back. I found it so incredibly difficult, particularly as we moved right as the UK winter hit. He had a ready-made community with his study, a job, etc, and i completely lost myself. I couldn’t find work i wanted to do, i was finding it hard to make friends, and the idea of FOUR years there, where i’d probably have to have a baby if i wanted one, overwhelmed me. I became depressed and anxious and clingy, he pulled away, we became distant and tense, and after 5 months, when i was returning to Australia for a pre-planned trip, he said he didn’t want me to come back.

    I’m now back in Aus and we broke up officially via Facetime a couple of weeks ago. It’s been absolutely heartbreaking. In some ways your piece helped me not feel so much self-blame though, which i appreciate so much. It’s a very difficult situation, and sometimes it’s just ‘too much too fast.’ Maybe we would have put some measures in place like the ones you suggest (i wish i’d read your piece earlier!) but also, maybe sometimes it just can’t work when 2 people are in metaphorically different places.

    I now have to re-establish my life here without him, which is so so sad, but also, maybe it’s just where we are meant to be – both metaphorically and literally. I still love him, and i know he loves me, but love, though the strongest force in the world, isn’t always enough. x

    1. Hi Fiona, That must have been hard to hear! Relationships are so much about timing, but at least you can say you gave it a shot. Like you said, it wasn’t meant to be at this time, but it sounds like you’re optimistic about what the future holds. Thank you for sharing your story!

  21. Really happy to have read your article!! Thank you !! In many ways it makes me feel secure with my situation… i met my fiancé in his home country Ecuador. I went down there to help as a volunteer and have always wanted to move to another country, so in a way was “checking out” how I could do there. We spent 7 months getting to know each other and afterward got engaged. We now we have gone 6 months long distance and I am going down to see him this coming week. This is the first time I will see him in 6 months, as he could not get a visa for my country and I had used up my visa and could not get a new one for half a year. We will be getting married very soon, but I love how this article brought out to go for yourself not just for him. I feel very comfortable in his home country and that is where both him and I want to live… also I am excited to be able to see my friends again. Thank you again for the article, I really enjoyed reading it!

  22. Hi Alyssa,

    Thank you for writing this. I’m currently going through anxiety even thinking about this. I’m from Canada, and I moved to South Korea to experience working abroad and travelling. I’m 33 years old, and I met someone over here. He’s not Korean; he’s English, and he’s told me that while he’s ok with moving to Canada for a few years after we’re both done in Korea, he inevitably wants to move back to England to take care of his parents. I understand it completely, as I am also a very family oriented individual. I’m open to moving to England with him because, while I love Canada, I’ve had a hard time living in Vancouver and I didn’t want to move to other parts of the country that are very, VERY cold during the winter. So…with the rising rental rates, the almost impossible goal of owning a house in Vancouver, I know I wasn’t happy there. So, like I said, I am open to moving abroad. But we get into a lot of arguments about family and friends. I got resentful last night because I was angry that it felt like I had to give up everything (my family) so that he could be with his. It was awful, and I felt horrible, because I truly support why he wants to do it. Also, I do enjoy England.

    I’m clearly talking myself into circles again.

    Regardless, your article really help me quell some of my anxiety, and knowing that someone else has gone through something like this gives me a breath of relief. So thanks…

    1. Hi Jess! Yeah, it’s one of those things that’s difficult to agree on in international relationships, but there are compromises to be made, e.g. spending holidays with your family, etc etc. In the end it’s just a matter of what each of you are willing to sacrifice and what you think will make you happier in the long-term. Good luck!

  23. Hello Alyssa! Very interesting post 🙂
    I’m 26 years old and struggling to graduate law school. I always wanted to do a master’s abroad (I’m from Greece). The guy I’m involved with (boyfriend to be, I hope), is from Germany. We were talking online for 7 months before meeting in August. He seems to be a lot into the idea of us being together, as I’ve told him that I would like to move to Germany for studies in the near future.
    Today he told me that he’s anxious about us because he didn’t know if I wanted to move indeed or not. And that in any case I shouldn’t make a decision like this just because of him, but I should consider what’s best for me. He also mentioned that he hopes I’m okay with the fact that he likes to go out with friends a lot, because he’s not going to give up on them. Very justified thoughts in general.
    However, my main concern is the following: does all this mean that I will have to figure out everything alone when I move to Germany? He is local and of course he has his studies, job, life and friends there, but regardless of the fact that I won’t be moving only for him, I will need some support at first. Germany was always on my list, but it’s one of the most challenging options because I will have to improve my german within a short period in order to deal with my studies successfully.
    So I don’t want to move JUST because of him, I see it as a challenge for personal improvement. But of course I’m also scared. What are your thoughts?
    Thanks a lot 🙂

    1. Hi Irene!

      There are (at least) two red flags for me on this one: 1) “boyfriend to be” – so you aren’t in a committed relationship? Maybe you have been talking for awhile but both of you need to be on the same page about your relationship – i.e. that it has a future – before you make this kind of decision. 2) What he said about his friends and going out. Sure, it’s a justified comment, but it seems to me he’s saying ‘You won’t be a priority if you come here, so don’t be upset because I told you upfront’. That’s not the kind of thing a supportive partner says, especially about friends. It’s one thing to manage expectations – for example, before I came to Switzerland my partner told me that works longer hours than he did in the past so we needed to come up with a strategy so that I wouldn’t just be at home waiting around for him all day. It’s another thing to warn someone. My partner was being practical and supportive – he wasn’t saying that to warn me, but to get ahead of potential problems and ensure that we worked together to adjust.

      Maybe Germany was on your list, but going there to study is a long and possibly costly commitment. He said it himself: don’t make this decision for him. If you’re truly interested in learning German and a master’s course will help your career or personal development, then go to Germany. Choose the best university for what you want to do, not because it’s close to your boyfriend to be. Make friends, find a place to live, support yourself. Once you’ve got that sorted out, give a relationship a shot – if you’re still interested anyway.

      Good luck!

      1. Hey, thanks for the reply!
        I wrote boyfriend to be, because it’s not official yet although we are exclusive! We haven’t really made THE conversation because we haven’t met since August, but I hope we will clear it up in a few weeks that he will visit me in Athens.
        To be honest, since I’ve been single for a few years, I’ve learnt to prioritize friends as well. But yes it sounds a bit like a red flag that he won’t give up on his friends for me. I wouldn’t even demand that he ditches everyone and be with me 24/7. Besides I need my space as well.
        As for my life in Germany, I already know people, that’s why I travelled there in summer and not because of him, to begin with. He also happened to be there because it was a metal festival (we’re both big fans of the genre). It was my second time in Germany and I felt like I wanted to start a new life in that country and improve my language skills so as to blend in with the locals.
        I started attending German classes again this week and I’ve been really enjoying myself so far. Of course I will apply to universities of other European countries as well, because I want to have many options and I’m not holding on to a potential future with him. It will be nice if it works out, but I’m very skeptical and I won’t sacrifice my future for a guy who wishes not to give up on anything for me 🙂

  24. Thank you for your post Alyssa! I am in similar situation, I don’t know what to do…I am living in Argentina for 2 years now with my local boyfriend. I am from Europe and we met while I was working there. I decided to come here for an internship and see how the thing would go. The internship ended, I got a job, but I lost it after one year. The social and economic situation is not very good here. I can’t find any job and I would be so happy to move back to Europe. The problem is, my boyfriend can’t move because of his job. So actually I am sacrificing my own life and career, to be with him, because he says there is no chance we move out from here, ever. We really get along very well, I can’t imagine life without him, but I am so unhappy living here, seeing all my friends leaving to Europe. Every time I travel abroad, coming back here is harder for me. Maybe you have some idea, what should I do, or how can I change my attitude to towards this place?

    1. Hi Sue! That’s too bad about the job. It sounds like everything was going well until then.

      Your boyfriend is telling you very clearly: no chance. What’s the deal with his job? Is it so hyperlocal he couldn’t find something similar in Europe? I find that hard to believe but maybe it’s the case. A life and a career is important for anyone to feel fulfilled – and so is a relationship. I’m assuming you have spoken to him about the issues and tried to discuss alternatives. If that’s the case, he’s saying no chance to the opportunity to create a better life for yourself while you’re in the relationship. If he knows you’re unhappy and there’s still no way he’s going to leave or help find a solution then you need to do what’s best for you. I hope that helps!

  25. Hi Alyssa,
    I was wondering if you have any advice for me. I have been living with my boyfriend for over 2 years now, we are very much in love and have always had dreams of living abroad together. We enjoy the same things and have the same attitude towards life.
    Recently, my boyfriend got made a very good job offer for a role in Singapore. He is absolutely over the moon, and feels he will never get a chance like this again. I supported him throughout the whole job process, but now that he actually has the job it all seems very real, and I am scared to make the move! Although I’ve always wanted to live abroad, Singapore seems very far! (I am based in the UK).
    I don’t have any particular job tying me down in the UK, the only things I would really miss are my friends and family, all of whom I am very close to.
    I know I should never move abroad for a partner, as I know I would probably be unhappy, but as I have nothing particularly else tying me here apart from family and friends, I am thinking “Why not Singapore? It isn’t a place I would have considered before but it would still be the adventure I am looking for”.
    I just want to make the right decision as right now I am in two minds. Go on a new adventure with my partner to Singapore, or stay in England to be with friends and family.

    1. Hi Nadia,

      Oh jeez, I’ve replied to this three times! Unfortunately I’ve been having some website issues and they kept getting removed. The gist of what I was saying is: you’re in a great situation. I don’t think my advice has ever been not to move abroad for a relationship, rather to think long and hard about it. On top that, you’re moving abroad together, achieving a goal the two of you have been working towards in tandem (him applying, you supporting it). Of course, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t have a back up plan. Try to get a work permit and a job for yourself. Don’t look at this as a permanent decision, ignore the faux-inspirational quotes about travel – you can go home again (but it’ll cost you). Have enough money saved up so you can return to the UK if things go sideways. Good luck!

  26. I have a tough situation on my hand.

    My wife is from Brazil and right now shes currently living at home with her family. She had to wait for her temporary green card to come in, in order to work. So we was living at home with my family for the time being due to financial situations.

    Toughest part for her was staying at home with not much to do and little cash on hand to experience a lot. Long story short she got her temporary green card and started working at this time I lost my job (go figure, everytime one of us worked one of us was without).

    So now I was home looking for work and nothing popped up. She saved enough to book a trip back with her family for 3 months. Right now we are on 1 month away and shes contemplating on returning back tonthe states.

    She wants me to live with her in Brazil, but the issue is I dont see any opportunity there for me. I tried starting a business over there already and customs are far too strict so me being a natural entrepreneur it isnt going to work. My thing is at this point im out of solutions and have no clue what to do.

  27. I should have read this before hoping in the plane… I will always be the type of girl who will give it all in a relationship but because I’m that blind, I often misread the red flags. I met my recent ex a year ago in Brazil and we managed to be in a LDR for less than 6 months. Since the beginning, I knew he was the one (or wanted him to be). I was super focused and wanted to go back to NZ so I finally got a temporary Visa by the time that I met him. Needless to say, of course I gave it up for the guy. We decided to put him first for some important needs: he was depressed, was also sexually abused by his brother during the teenage years, didn’t have a job or a girlfriend for the past 8-9 years. Because he was a world traveler, I thought the relationship was exciting: we would focus on his job and I would follow him after. He finally settled down thanks to my influence while I tried to keep up with the ups and downs of him saying “everything is changing too fast”. Still, he wanted us, then I left my job, my house, donated everything I had and spent all my money moving in with him (we found a house, I made it a home). The next couple months were a complete disaster, finding the hard way he was not attracted to me (I needed fake boobs, pierced nipples, anything hard core porn related) and he was also on Tinder all this time. He wanted someone active and into sports even though he was only interested in his art, his video games, TV shows and Tindering, trying to find someone better looking than me. Both our families were supportive into marriage, turns out he was not (even though he knew it was my only option in American territory). I managed to get job interviews but was politely and sadly declined the opportunities due to a Visa. I had a great potential and everyone could see that, even himself. So we thought to get married so we could have an easier financial life and soon enough I would certainly adapt myself into the American culture (since this was not my first time living in the US). Because of all his uncertainty, I managed to go from the rock solid partner to the deeply depressed one. I couldn’t work, I didn’t have friends, I couldn’t drive for the longest time and also couldn’t enjoy myself doing things by my own since I was living on his paycheck (just like he did with mine when he lived in Brazil). Not being free and isolated at home, he couldn’t manage anymore since his life was improving and mine was going downhill. Before coming to Brazil, he then got one knee, proposed and we got married the same day, only the next day, after calling me wifey, asking me to cancel flight tickets, he then managed to say he was not happy with me, he couldn’t fake it anymore and he wished me the best. I was back in my country the next day, I lost everything I had including my NZ Visa, my clothes, my house, all my money (even though he had promised to help me out financially if things didn’t end well – guess what happened?). Everything you wrote about your experience is the absolute truth. I’m always happy with the exceptions but we need to take of ourselves and not rely on “maybe” people, no matter how much he loves you, or how much his family convince you to go with no guarantee. Listen to your gut and don’t settle for the unknown like, protect yourself at all costs because in the end you might end up not only being alone, but with no food on the table once he kicks you out of your home. Protect each other, girls! Then be the one moving abroad for someone who will value you enough to keep you safe (by allowing you to be free as well). I’m pretty sure I will do this again, because that’s the lifestyle I want for myself and how I picture the concept of “partners in crime”, by taking chances everywhere in the world with someone who’s on board just as I am. But the lesson was learned: that I MUST protect myself and my rights before putting effort in a relationship which will leave me with nothing at all. So thank you for your points, from now on I’m sure I’ll be stronger to keep them in mind (and paper).

  28. Hello Alyssa and lovely people in the blog,

    Its super interesting reading yoir stories and i felt like sharing mine. My British bf and I ( I am south American) met online some 8 years ago. Almost nine months later we met in person and chemistry was undeniable. We did the distance for 6+ years, travelling and meeting whenever we could. We broke twice, tried our separate ways and then back together. Yep, we were young and crazy as it needs to be keep a LD relationship for that long. I guess it took a lot of imagination and naivette. But I can only see that now.
    Last year, I lived in UK for 9 months and those months were enough for him to pop the question. What a decision! It was very easy in the end, break up and stop this madness, settle for the normal, or get married. Ok.. yes, we went for getting married because we had tried to be apart and it had not worked.
    And they lived happily ever after!…. Errrr… Wait! Thats just the beginning. Who moves? Was the ultimate question. Either we decided it together or I just gave in, but thing is I am the one who is moving to UK. Yes I will leave my job, friends and most importantly family to bet on this relationship. Biggest bet a person can do. Am i scared? Like hell!. Is it like? Of course not! My family are devastated and it is hard to see that I might be causing such pain to the ones I love. Is it worth it? Hmmmm I am following my heart i guess, that life energy that pushes us to those things we never regret.
    Thing is we are getting married next year and if there is something I have learnt is that nothing is ever completly positive or negative. We just have to make the best of what is given to us.

    Wish me luck!

  29. My boyfriend and I have been on and off for the last 7 years with a long distance relationship. He lives in Zimbabwe and I live in the UK. I am also Zimbabwean but have been living in the uk all my life. We finally met this year in September and it was everything we imagined and more. Being with him for just 2 weeks was worth every year without him. But since we met the last 2 months being away from each other has been awful. Our relationship is currently on the brinks. He was very positive and constantly reminded me how we can get through this from the beginning even though I suggested multiple times to move to him because I was taking it really hard. Now it has hit him how difficult the long distance is and he’s been avoiding any real conversation about this and we haven’t spoken much in the past couple of days. We have an end date in 2 years when he’ll move here because at the moment he is studying. But I have pretty much decided that I no longer want to be in the job I’m currently in and I’m having a rough time with life in general, I want to leave and study something. So I have thought about moving again to him for a few months while I figure out my own life. I can study online. But because of the country’s political situation he is so against it. But I have the financial funds to support myself out there so I can’t understand why he won’t allow me to. I cannot see things from his point of view. What should I do?

    1. That’s a tough one… but I think both partners need to be willing to have someone move. It’s a challenge for each person. I would suggest talking to him about it more – only he knows why he’s resistant to the idea. Good luck!

  30. Loved this post, I am currently thinking of moving overseas to be with my fiance in Australia. Having done this before to be with a fiance in UK and it didn’t work out partly due to feeling so isolated in a new country I so know what I am getting into.I loved how refreshing you put things and it is very hard to imagine what on faces uprooting their lives for love but the key thing is to me to try to remain positive

  31. A really interesting and useful blog post.

    My boyfriend of a year is moving back to Australia in April after two years over here in the U.K. so I need to decide whether to go with him or if we should break up (I’ve ruled out long distance already because of there being no fixed end date to it).

    He’s keen that I should only go if it’s something I want to do, I.e not just for him, and although I do love the idea of going there, I need to decide whether I want it more than I want my current life in the UK.

    Thanks for writing on this difficult topic!


    1. You’re welcome! Frankly you can’t know whether you prefer it until you go. And at the moment, my partner and I are back doing long distance Canada/Europe – we’re both working on goals that are very important to us as individuals. No ‘end date’ in sight yet, but we know we want one. Until then, we see each other about every three months and it’s an excuse to travel! Good luck 🙂

  32. Native to Canada and now on my 3rd day of 6 months living in Brazil with my boyfriend and his family. I envy those in safe countries, who can go wonder the streets, meet people, and see new things.
    This would be too dangerous for me and so I rely on my boyfriend to go anywhere. The culture and language is overwhelming for sure, even though Im able to speak and understand, I’m by no means fluent.

    My boyfriend is doing everything he can to move to Canada and Im really here to just pass the time together instead of in a long distance relationship.

    This is my second time here.. the first was very hard but I ended up making some great friends and memories. I thought it would be easier this time but I still have really overwhelming moments of feeling like an outsider or that I really don’t belong. My boyfriend is having a bbq party at a beach house for his graduation and I have the worst anxiety about feeling this way there, and not being able to escape. I dont even want to go.. 🙁

  33. Hi Alyssa!

    My boyfriend and I lived together by 2 yeas in Lima- Peru; recently he moved to Cincinnati-Ohio by job, still he doesn´t know if is just by 3 years or the company will renovate his visa.
    I’m lawyer and I’m thinking to move with him by 6 months (tourist visa), as you see I couldn`t work in my career, so I think that is my biggest problem, I was thinking to study something new there but I’ve search and the education in USA is so expensive, so I would aprecciate your opinion.
    Pst. Thank you for reading me =)

  34. Hi Alyssa,

    I met my boyfriend about a month and half ago and we have been inseparable ever since. I live in New York and he lives in London. How did you manage with the visas? How was your process in finding a company that would sponsor. I work in digital media as well and would love your advice. Also, how do you manage the feelings regarding uprooting your life?

    1. Hi Karen, I wasn’t sponsored, I went on a Youth Mobility Visa which is available to citizens of certain countries under 30. I’ve written a few posts about job hunting and such in London – have a look through them! As far as those feelings… I never really felt ‘rooted’ so to speak. I had been living in Martinique for two years prior to going to London and before then I was a university student. I just saw it as another adventure. I think that for the most part – tragedies notwithstanding – your city, your family, and your true friends will always be there when you want to visit or move back. Think less of uprooting, more of extending those roots!

    2. Be really careful…you are in your honey moon phase right now and I wouldn’t rush into anything. Think with your head rather than your heart!

  35. I met my Danish girlfriend whilst she was studying in London. She was supposed to go back to Denmark and do her Masters but ended up staying in London and moving in with me. Before she did this I made it clear that she needed to do it for the right reasons and she was adamant that it was as much to do with her pursuing a career in the Film/Media industry as it was for me and love. 3 months down the line, she is struggling to land a perfect job so is currently working early morning shifts at an office far from our home. I can see she is lonely but we pack our lives with interesting trips and go out and see my friends a lot. I feel helpless but I also don’t know what more I can do. Is anyone else in this position, or has anyone been in this position and did you make it through/how?

  36. Hi Alyssa! Thank you for this post, it saved me from my overriding feelings. I’ve been scratching my head over this issue lately. My situation is worse because me and him are quite sure it is hard to know exactly what it is we are feelings unless we are near each other. So far, we don’t call it a long-distance relationship. We met 5 months ago in another country, spent some time together, and texting daily since then. We are absorbed in each other’s lives with a great deal of interest. However, it has been very depressing lately that we can’t spend time together in person. I have been considering moving out of my country before we met, but my plan was interrupted because of a new job I landed. I don’t like this new job, regardless of how good it seems to be, or the society I live in, but there is something about leaving my job behind that is really scaring me especially that I can’t go back once I leave. Right now, I’m working on my Master’s and so does he, so in a way we are still tied to our countries for quite some time to come. I wake up everyday so confused about what is going to happen to us or if we are going to drift apart out of sheer hopelessness. We discussed this a lot, but we always ended up more confused and/or hopeless. I have stared to loathe everything and everyone around me. Apparently, subconsciously not being able to be with the person I have strong feelings for is destroying me and deepening my repulsion of what I am doing and where I am. It would be great if you have any advice for me.

    1. Hey! I know what you’re going through! I think it’s hardest when you’re in the beginning phases of a relationship – that honeymoon period is always best spent together, no? Here’s what I’ve found has been life-changing since going back to long-distance with my partner: we’re both really happy with what we’re doing in our lives. I’m studying for a master’s and I love it; he’s finally training for the job he wants. It has made being apart SO MUCH EASIER. When he was unhappy with his career, I was so mad. I thought ‘Why are you doing something you hate instead of being with me?’. But it has made a big difference now that things are going well, and I wouldn’t ask him to give it up for the uncertainty of moving (and the same for me – he wouldn’t want me to stop doing something that made me so happy). So that’s my advice: build a life that you’re happy living. Make decisions and choose things that make you feel good about where you are in life. From there, your life stops being an impediment to your relationship but a means to being together again. I hope that helps!

      1. Thank you for your very helpful reply. We talked about it again and we found that we have some stuff in common in terms of the lives we aspire for. This gave us a long-term goal. Currently, we are trying to focus on not being too sad where we are, as you said. I am also planning to visit in a few months. We also started having video calls because yeah we miss each other so much. Alyssa, you are the best! Thank you so much for helping me out.

  37. Hi, I’m from Venezuela and at this moment my country’s situation is not good. I met my long distance boyfriend in Berlin last year (he is living there) and wants me to go live with him in Germany. I fell in love with Berlin during my vacations and I feel that said country can offer me much better opportunities than Venezuela. As all latinos I am very close with my family, however, they are happy that I’ll be able to have a better future in Germany. Right now I’m learning German to be ready for my adventure next year and I am willing to work and study the language at the same time when I get there. The only problem is that me and my boyfriend don’t really know each other that much since we have only seen each other 8 days last month since he came to my country for a quick vacation. I want to take things slowly but I believe all these feelings are getting ahead of me and he feels the same way…I hope things turn out as expected. So here goes nothing

  38. Alyssa, you are so right. I moved to California Bay Area for my husband and him only. It has been 5 years of homesickness and struggle for me. I have good friends here but the work opportunities are lacking because it is highly competitive here. Taking a menial job, I was injured and hurt my back carrying wine cases. I am now unemployed with a back injury. I feel that this place has been hard on me. Health care is badly organized and expensive here. I have decided to return to the UK but my husband will not come with me due to his work. On a positive note I have had some fun and have learnt that the grass is not greener. I think the UK is a better place to live for myself and my values. I don’t care about the weather and love the seasons. My husband feels terrible about my experience here but at the same time may not make a sacrifice for me. He is right and should only do it because he really wants to. Thanks for sharing your story. Where are you now? Are you with your partner?

    1. That seems like a tough situation! At the moment I’m back in Canada, doing a Master’s. We’re still together…in theory! He got transferred to Germany for work so we’re doing long distance until we can figure out a way to close it! Thanks for commenting and I hope things work out for the best with you 🙂

  39. Thank-you for sharing your story! I met my Australian boyfriend in Canada and we have been together for 2.5 years now. I have traveled to Australia for six months to live with him, and now he lives in Canada with me until I finish school. Ultimately he wants us both to live in Australia, but I have a fear of leaving my family behind. I only have my mother and twin sister for family, so we are really close. It will be very hard for me to move overseas for most of my life and I have my worries about if it’s worth it. I love my boyfriend very much and I couldn’t imagine living without him. How do you cope with living away from your family?

    1. Hi Lilly,

      Based on your email, I’m guessing you’re barely out of your teens? Maybe not, maybe you just really liked that year. But if you are, you have loads of time to figure it out. Just get through the rest of school and see what happens. Life can change in an instant especially at that age. For example, one day at 21, I just decided I wanted to move abroad. And I did it. If you had asked me at 19 what I would be doing after I graduated, I would have said doing a masters/PhD to become a professor. You just never know.

      My point is, you don’t need to decide right now. On that note, I haven’t actually answered the question you asked me. Long story short… I don’t know! If I’m honest, it never bothered me much to be away from them. I missed my friends and family and such, but it was strongest in certain moments – like when you wish someone was there for an event or that you were able to support them through/in something. I know that wasn’t terribly helpful – sorry!

  40. I met my husband through friends in common. he’s from Italy and I’m from the US.. we met through FB and after 6 months we got married. I moved to Italy. Obviously due to the fact that we didn’t live together and the long distance relationship, we really didn’t know each other. I’ve been living in Italy for a year and because of our differences and changes I left for 2 an half months to visit my family. Now I’m back in Italy and I really don’t know if I can stay here, make a life, have kids and raise them so far away from family, friends and my lifestyle, culture etc.
    It’s not easy and I don’t know if it’s worth it.. he says he will move to the US but at the same time he tries to convince me that our lives could be better in Italy. So, i have to make a decision.
    Thank you for your post l!

    1. Why are your lives better in Italy? Unless your dude’s got a wicked job and a house and stuff, why stay there? It’s not quite Spain or Greece in terms of the economy, but it’s close… and if he’s willing to go to the states, go build a career and life there where opportunities are ubiquitous. Good luck!

  41. Alyssa you are spot on about ‘the giving his life to me phrase’ as that was his explanation as well as to what he meant 🙂

    Thank you for telling me about your mum’s friend in Canada, it really did allay some of my fears and after reading your extract and also that of Thomas, I feel more sure of what decision to make!

    Great blog indeed!

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